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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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The Shifting Sands
The Shifting Sands

The Shifting Sands

director: Madi Piller
original title: The Shifting Sands
country: Canada
year: 2018
running time: 9 min.

synopsis

Philosophical reflections on Israel blend into a personal struggle for identity: The filmmaker’s father came to the British Mandate of Palestine in 1946 as a Jewish refugee. The call for harmonic co-existence is imprinted in the falling grains from one image into another. Some of the scenes come from the documentary film Israel: Land of Destiny (1977, dir. Jacques Madvo). 

"By constructing the film entirely with an optical printer, moving images and pictures are drawn to rhythm and meaning. The philosophical words of Martin Buber invokes the reflection upon the reality." M. Piller

 

biography

In an attempt at deconstructing the system of film, the abstract works of Madi Piller (1960) highlight the diversity of its stylistic tools. Her experiments with raw film material, which she repeatedly copies, completely manipulates, or semantically alters through hand-drawing, are framed as introspective strolls or memories of the past. Ji.hlava IDFF has screened her trilogy Untitled or Into the Light: Film Resistance (2016).

more about film

director: Madi Piller
producer: Madi Piller
photography: Madi Piller
editing: Madi Piller
sound: Eduardo Gonzalez

other films in the section

I Was Here
The combination of static photographs taken with various exposure times creates a moving portrait of a place where the stone building has stood for centuries, but the people are just indistinct traces on the sidewalk in front of it. We see only those who stop long enough to leave their imprint on the short-term memory of the place. The flow of time-lapse images also records changes in the solid structure as the light gives shape to the architecture.

I Was Here

Philippe Léonard
Canada / 2012 / 6 min.
section: Fascinations
East European Premiere
Becoming American
The barcode from Form N-400 – the application for U.S. citizenship – is “naturalized” (a reference to “naturalization,” the term for becoming a U.S. citizen into the image, which is thus transformed into an abstract portrait of the applicant. At the same time, it is converted into sound by reading the visual code with an optical sound reader. Christina Nguyen (1988) hails from Los Angeles and studied visual art and media and molecular biology at the University of California in San Diego. She also received an MFA in film/video from the California Institute of the Arts. Edgar Jorge Baralt (1988) was born in Venezuela and studied film production at the University of Central Florida and at the California Institute of the Arts near Los Angeles, where he currently lives and works. His films explore the subjects of memory, time, and the changing nature of human identity.“The electronic version of the N-400 application form generates a barcode as personal information is entered. We take this conversion of identity into data further by turning this barcode into an audiovisual experience.”

Becoming American

Christina Nguyen, Edgar Jorge-Baralt
United States / 2016 / 1 min.
section: Fascinations
World Premiere
ENOLAEMEVAEL
This remake of Man Ray’s celebrated Emak Bakia (1926), which uses a cameraless method of creating hand-processed film images in high-contrast black-and-white, refers to the original film even in its subject matter as well: continuing with the motifs of death, it works with artifacts and documents from US drone attacks on Pakistani territory in 2015. Kathryn Ramey (1967) is an American filmmaker, anthropologist, and teacher at Emerson College in Boston. Through celluloid manipulation and hand developing film stock, she creates new audiovisual forms that search for points of intersection between anthropological studies and experimental film. Her works have received numerous awards at international festivals.“Combining experimental process - es with theoretical premises and anthropolo gy, my films and installations seek to deconsecrate the ‘real’ of conventional documentary and agitate the viewer to seek out subjugated narratives in dominant media culture.”  

ENOLAEMEVAEL

Kathryn Ramey
United States / 2016 / 7 min.
section: Fascinations
European Premiere
Nutrition Fugue
This ironic found-footage collage created from raw footage originally shot for the Közért (“For the Public”) retail chain, a state-run network of shops in Hungary during communism, shows the problems of eating and nutrition in state-run economies, lives and images. "35 mm reels of socialist food advertisements were put in the soil to rot and decay." P. Lichter  

Nutrition Fugue

Péter Lichter
Hungary / 2018 / 4 min.
section: Fascinations
World Premiere
The End of Time
Delving for a brief moment into an everyday scene, we see various movements at various speeds and experience microstories representing the familiarity of the street. The classical technique of analytical slowing down different parts of the image at different speeds is used to capture an otherwise invisible phenomenon. “Sometimes in a flash you become aware of the fact that time does not matter.” M. Manchevski

The End of Time

Milcho Manchevski
Cuba, United States / 2017 / 5 min.
section: Fascinations
Czech Premiere
Who's Afraid Of RGB
Another contribution of this authoress to the reflection of genre films, this time dealing with romantic melodrama, confronts the expressive character of the film medium with the viewers’ perception in radical juxtapositions of eyes closely observing the movie Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and spots of red, green and blue colours that bite into them accompanied by harrowing noises and music. “Who's Afraid of RGB plays with self-referentiality in art, with the relation between artwork and viewer, references to other works of art and to scientific fields, as here to psychophysiology.” B. Roisz 
personal program

Who's Afraid Of RGB

Billy Roisz
Austria / 2019 / 9 min.
section: Fascinations
International Premiere
African Film School
Found 8mm home movies from safaris in South Africa and Zimbabwe in the 1960s – i.e., during the apartheid era. The filmmaker finds inspiration in Peter Kubelka’s avant-garde work Unsere Afrikareise and uses montage and editing to critically refl ect on the colonial representation of the African landscape. “Having lived in South Africa for almost a decade, I wanted to find an abstract way to reflect on my journey as a filmmaker and highlight my concerns regarding the visual misrepresentations of Southern Africa.” R. Horn

African Film School

Roger Horn
South Africa / 2017 / 5 min.
section: Fascinations
International Premiere
JEAN LUC NANCY
A miniature inspired by the leading contemporary French philosopher. The fragility of examining the possibilities of uniqueness and subordination in relation to something different. Objects here do not function as symbols; a crystal pendulum and anonymous figures highlight the multitude of loopholes and fundamental non-discursiveness of expressing delicate subjectivities. "The film is about the duality of one’s search for their own individuality versus the desire to belong." A. Zwirchmayr  

JEAN LUC NANCY

Antoinette Zwirchmayr
Austria / 2018 / 5 min.
section: Fascinations
World Premiere
I Would Leave Everything Here
The patient observation of the four seasons – daytime and nighttime events, manifestations of the natural elements, and the peacefulness of minimalist images – as seen through the window. A dramatic compilation of images into an extraordinary record of the ordinary flow of time. Croatian filmmaker, photographer, and audiovisual artist Ivan Faktor (1953) has been making art since 1975. In 1995, his film At Home was shown at the Venice Biennale, and he also represented his home country at the São Paulo Art Biennial. The Jihlava IDFF previously showed his film Self-Portrait (2006), in which a camera inside the filmmaker’s body records a journey through the human body in the form of abstract images, shadows, and rhythms.“... for here I would leave this earth and these stars, because I would take nothing with me from here, because I’ve lo oked into what‘s coming, and I d on‘t need anything from here.” (László Krasznahorkai)

I Would Leave Everything Here

Ivan Faktor
Croatia / 2016 / 11 min.
section: Fascinations
International Premiere
Biblion
A visual study of the book as a medium and cultural artefact. Parallel images analyse books from the point of view of appearance and material with the film plunging into the depths of their microscopic fabric while, at the opposite end of the spectrum, the variety of their surfaces, textures, fonts and shapes blossoms into structured volumes ordered on a bookshelf. “Born from observing the phenomena of quietly vanishing old book stores, our work first became an exploration of the medium of the book itself, and then grew in to something more haunting.” E. Tammi, S. Ekström  
personal program

Biblion

Saara Ekström, Eero Tammi
Finland / 2019 / 13 min.
section: Fascinations
World Premiere
Buffalo Death Mask
The filmmaker’s personal conversation with Canadian author Stephen Andrews about living with HIV is an intimate look at extreme situations and difficult-to-describe states of body and mind. The openness of the conversation reveals the maturity of meditations on sharing, isolation, the relationship to physical changes, and the subtle boundary between life and death. Footage from various sources and periods in the filmmaker’s life is complemented with hand-written titles that emphasize the film’s diary-like nature with a sense for detail, with the sensitive inclusion of self-reflection when describing relationships or counting pills.

Buffalo Death Mask

Mike Hoolboom
Canada / 2013 / 23 min.
section: Fascinations
East European Premiere
The Trembling Giant
A view of the landscape of the American Southwest, where the largest organism on Earth grows – a 60,000-year-old colony of quaking aspens – was filmed with a digital camera through the take-up reel of a 16mm projector in order to emphasize the characteristic effect of projected film material which rhythmically warps the space in front of the projector. Patrick Tarrant (1969) is originally from Melbourne, Australia and teaches at London South Bank University. He is the author of meditative films, that draw on the atmosphere of cities and urban peripheries.“My repurposing of a 16mm film projector warps space in three dimensions in order that we might reflect on our journey from a people who feared the natural world to people who must now fear for the natural world.”

The Trembling Giant

Patrick Tarrant
United Kingdom / 2016 / 19 min.
section: Fascinations
East European Premiere
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